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Naruto : The System Files

Naruto has always had video games to fall back on growing up while the rest of the village pretty much treated him like garbage. What happens when Naruto wakes up to find his life has become one of the video games he loves so much. -------------------------------------------------------------- Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. Any similarities between real people, living or dead, or places, standing or demolished, in this story are just coincidences. But if you like what I do and want to support me, you are more than welcome to donate on Place of Patrons.

Adamo_Amet · Anime & Comics
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80 Chs

Chapter no.68 Head of T&I

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....

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•••••••••••••••••

What is the difference between reality and a dream?

To many, reality was the world of the waking—the tangible, the measurable, the undeniable. It was where decisions had weight, where actions had consequences. A world bound by the unyielding laws of nature and society, where every detail, from the chirping of birds to the bustling of city streets, confirmed its existence.

Dreams, on the other hand, were the realms of sleep, ethereal and fleeting. They were the echoes of desires and fears, woven from the threads of imagination. In dreams, the impossible became possible; the laws of physics bowed to the whims of the mind, and time lost its linearity.

Yet, Inoichi understood that the distinction wasn't as clear-cut as it seemed.

In his line of work, diving into the psyche and exploring the hidden corners of others' minds, he had seen how thin the veil between reality and dreams could be.

Dreams could shape reality, after all.

Ideas born in the nebulous world of sleep could transform the waking world—inspiring inventions, resolving deep-seated emotional wounds, or planting the seeds of change in barren fields of thought.

And reality, in turn, could deeply influence dreams, feeding them with experiences and real-world anxieties.

Inoichi felt like the world around him was suddenly spinning, blurring into shades of reality and dream.

"Can you repeat that again?" he asked, his voice tinged with disbelief, as Dragon, masked and imposing, sat across from him in his office.

"Naruto Uzumaki will be joining the ANBU, and you have been chosen to conduct his psychological examination," Dragon repeated, his voice firm and unwavering.

The information didn't sit any easier the second time.

It was standard practice for any shinobi entering the secretive ranks of the ANBU to undergo a psychological evaluation to ensure their loyalty and stability.

But Naruto?

A fresh Genin in the ANBU was unheard of.

"Did the Hokage approve of this?" Inoichi questioned, his brows knitting together in concern.

Even through Dragon's mask, Inoichi could feel a silent, 'You're joking, right?' emanating from him.

Of course, the Hokage would have approved it; nothing went forward without his sanction.

But the very notion—a brand-new Genin in the ANBU—struck Inoichi as profoundly absurd.

Inoichi rubbed his temple as a headache began to form, "Naruto won't survive in the ANBU," he blurted out, his concern for the boy overshadowing his professional demeanor.

"Naruto will be given the opportunity like everyone else. If he doesn't meet the criteria for being in the ANBU, he will be kicked out," Dragon replied promptly.

"How much time will he be given?" Inoichi pressed, needing to grasp some logic in this decision.

"One month," came the swift response.

"But not everyone is given a month," Inoichi pointed out, his curiosity piqued.

Normally, the timeframe was two weeks. Why the extension for Naruto?

"We have confirmed there was active sabotage taking place in the academy. The extra time is for Naruto to fix what's broken via shadow clones," Dragon explained.

Inoichi's mind raced with this new information.

This wasn't just a simple case of overlooked potential or administrative error.

This was deliberate, malicious.

The implications of such sabotage were severe and far-reaching.

"What do you want me to do?"

"The Hokage wanted you to have this," Dragon said, sliding a scroll across the table.

Inoichi opened the scroll briefly, scanning its contents, then incinerated it with a flick of his finger, a simple fire manipulation technique.

"I'll get to that later."

"I'm certain you're a busy man, Dragon; why deliver this news yourself, especially since the evaluation of Naruto wasn't a directive from the Hokage but rather a request from you?"

"Well, you were the first domino that fell and caused us this headache," Dragon remarked pointedly.

Inoichi's eyes narrowed.

"What's the damage?" he asked, needing more to piece everything together.

"Naruto found out about the Kyubi, the sabotage, Kushina..." Dragon began, each word weighing heavily in the quiet room.

"And his father?" Inoichi interrupted, his voice pitching higher with urgency.

"That remains a secret."

"This is bad," Inoichi whispered under his breath, his professional composure beginning to crack.

"That's why you were chosen for the task," Dragon stated plainly, standing to leave.

"When?"

"In about two hours, enough for you to prepare," Dragon answered, his figure receding towards the door.

"How bad was the sabotage?" Inoichi called out, needing to know the extent of the damage.

"Your daughter's score was constantly lower than her actual ability," Dragon threw over his shoulder before disappearing from view.

Inoichi's hand clenched tightly, crushing his pen in a grip of frustration and dread. He exhaled deeply, trying to calm the storm within as he stared at the shards of his pen on the desk.

Oh, how I wish today was just a bad dream.

....

Inoichi tapped his fingers on the counter of Ichiraku Ramen, eyeing the setup with a critical eye.

First impressions mattered immensely, and he was well aware of it.

Choosing the cozy, familiar ramen spot over a formal room in the Hokage Tower was strategic; he wanted Naruto to feel at ease, not on edge.

The sterile environment of the official buildings had never been conducive to open, heartfelt discussions, especially not for a boy who had experienced so much mistrust there.

As he settled the final details of the meeting, Inoichi noticed the slight tension in Teuchi and Ayame's postures.

"Nothing to worry about," he assured them with a smile, though he knew the statement was more for decorum—the ramen shop was already rented out for the session, the funds generously allocated from ANBU resources.

The flaps of the entrance parted, and Naruto walked in, his gait mechanical, an umbrella nonchalantly resting on his shoulder.

"N-Naruto, sorry but you have to enter through the back," Ayame instructed gently.

"Ayame-nee, I am supposed to meet Inoichi-sama here," Naruto replied, his voice steady yet hinting at an underlying tension.

Inoichi's heart skipped a beat.

How did Naruto know his name?

Despite the reassurances from the Hokage, doubts lingered in Inoichi's mind about the true nature of Naruto Uzumaki.

Was he merely the unfortunate boy wronged by society, or was there something more, something deeper and possibly more sinister, behind his sunny façade?

Today, Konoha's Head of T&I would discover the truth.

Today, he would see whether the boy before him was a victim of his circumstances or a master of disguise.

He watched silently as Naruto navigated the conversation with Ayame, his own presence carefully unobtrusive.

He needed Naruto to feel in control, to open up without feeling coerced or manipulated. That was the only way this evaluation would yield any truth.

Inoichi subtly tuned his senses to pick up the quiet conversation between Naruto and Ayame, using just a hint of chakra to enhance his hearing without making it obvious.

His role required such discreet manipulations, and over the years, he'd mastered the art of observation from the shadows.

"Naruto, why are you meeting this rich guy?" Ayame's whisper carried a mixture of curiosity and caution.

"What do you mean?"

"He rented out the entire shop for two hours," Ayame pressed on, her voice dropping to a more stressed tone.

"Wait, how much ramen can I order?" Naruto's shift in focus was abrupt, almost comical, but it spoke volumes about his priorities.

Inoichi's eyes narrowed slightly as he observed the exchange.

The boy's ability to shift from suspicion to excitement over food was interesting, perhaps indicating a simple joy in life's basic pleasures—a trait not often found in those with hidden agendas.

"Don't do anything stupid. I don't think that guy is someone you can be disrespectful towards," Ayame warned, her voice low.

"What did he do?" Naruto's response came with a subtle growl, his chakra flaring just enough to be noticeable to Inoichi's trained senses. The boy's protective instinct was evident, even over something as trivial as a conversation.

"Nothing, other than renting the shop. The guy has been very nice and polite," Ayame reassured, trying to diffuse the boy's burgeoning defensiveness.

Naruto relaxed slightly, his smile returning. "Can I get 10 miso ramen?"

"Naruto!"

Turning to Inoichi, Naruto formalized his request, "Sir, can I order ramen?"

His manner was mechanical, overly formal—a stark contrast to his usual demeanor.

Ayame and Teuchi's expressions of shock didn't escape Inoichi's notice.

Clearly, they weren't used to seeing Naruto in such a deferential light.

This observation told him that the boy's informal, often brash, exterior was what everyone expected of him, so now the question was, was it a mask or his true face?

Inoichi gave a nod, his smile warm and encouraging.

"The money has already been paid, so order what you want."

Relief washed over Naruto's face as he turned back to Ayame, who sighed softly before taking his order.

"What about you, sir?" Ayame turned her attention to Inoichi.

"Let's go with my favorite, miso ramen," he responded, choosing a dish he knew would resonate with Naruto.

It was a small, subtle way to forge a connection, grounded in the belief that shared tastes could bridge gaps between strangers.

After all, Inoichi mused, you always trust people who like the same things as you do more than others.

Inoichi took a careful sip of his miso ramen, his senses alert despite the casual setting. As the boy devoured his bowl with a gusto that reminded Inoichi painfully of Kushina, he couldn't help but reflect on the deep connections and the hidden layers of this seemingly simple meeting.

"You really like ramen," Inoichi commented.

"Ramen is the food of the gods," Naruto responded enthusiastically, echoing a sentiment Inoichi had heard from Kushina years ago.

The similarity in their expressions—a blend of joy and satisfaction—made Inoichi choke on his water momentarily.

Regaining his composure, Inoichi reminded himself of the task at hand.

Still, the familiarity tugged at him.

'They are so alike,' he thought, 'but now isn't the time to dwell on the past.'

"Naruto, can I ask what makes ramen special to you?" Inoichi ventured, timing his question to coincide with Naruto's mouthful—a psychologist's tactic to catch the young ninja off-guard and encourage unguarded responses.

Before Naruto could answer, Inoichi continued, steering the conversation to establish a deeper connection.

"Do you know why I like ramen?" he posed, noting Naruto's attentive nod.

"When I was little, I had a friend who loved to come here. She had red hair and would get mad really quickly. I think you know who I am talking about."

Naruto's reaction was immediate and intense.

His chopsticks paused mid-air as he fixed Inoichi with a stare.

"You knew my mom," he stated, not as a question but as a realization dawning with the heaviness of truth finally unveiled.

Inoichi nodded solemnly, acknowledging the bond.

"Why didn't you ever visit me? Why didn't you look after me? Weren't you my mom's friend?" Naruto's voice lowered, each word laden with the hurt of abandonment, driving into Inoichi like sharp kunai.

"Naruto, after the Kyubi attack, Konoha was weak, and we needed to work a lot. As Konoha's Head of T&I, I was very busy, hence why I couldn't allocate my time," he explained, his voice steady yet filled with regret.

"Konoha recovered, so why not then?"

Inoichi took a deep breath, the complexity of the situation unwinding before him.

"I am the head of the Yamanaka clan, Naruto, and the Kyubi is a power, not just physically but also politically."

He watched Naruto's confusion, knowing well that the intricacies of village politics were a harsh burden for someone so young to understand.

"Do you know the hierarchical system of Konoha?"

He asked as Naruto shook his head.

"Well, at the bottom are the civilians, then the ninjas, then the clans, the councils, and then the Hokage. This system allocates power, with the Hokage having the most power to enact laws and such. The power dwindles down at each level. As the head of the Yamanaka Clan, I have a seat on the council, but imagine if I raised you—how many would support me, fearing the Kyubi's power?" Inoichi explained.

The conversation paused as Ayame brought two more bowls of ramen.

Inoichi pushed one towards Naruto, trying to lighten the mood with a tale of the past that might resonate with the boy.

"You know, your mother told me that she loved ramen because it reminded her of Uzushiogakure. Apparently, it was their national dish," he said, watching Naruto's reaction.

Naruto gave a small smile, his eyes lingering on the ramen.

"I wonder if your love for ramen is genetic," Inoichi chuckled, and Naruto snorted in response as he replied.

"When the information about my status leaked, I was kicked out of the orphanage. It was raining, and I felt so cold as I tried to find shelter. Drenched and hungry, I returned to the orphanage, but they wouldn't let me in. I stayed outside till nightfall. Eventually, I wandered until I found this shop about to close. I had only a half-eaten candy in my hand, which I offered to Teuchi-san, and just asked if I could have something to eat."

Naruto's voice wavered, his eyes glistening with the effort to hold back tears as he began devouring his ramen with a sort of desperate gusto.

Inoichi listened, the image of Naruto as a calculated mastermind evaporating before the stark reality of his lonely, painful childhood. This was not a boy who manipulated from the shadows; this was a child who had endured immense suffering and yet still sought out the good in his world, refusing to be defined by the darkness that had so often enveloped him.

"Do you hate Konoha for how it treated you?" Inoichi finally asked, his voice steady despite the turbulence of the question.

Naruto paused, his chopsticks hovering mid-air.

The hesitation spoke volumes before he even formed his response.

"I don't know," Naruto said, his voice tinged with uncertainty.

"Konoha hasn't been kind to me, but it hasn't been the cruelest to me either. Now I understand the reasons. But just because I understand doesn't mean I love them like what the Will of Fire says."

Inoichi nodded slowly, his internal alarm bells quieting just a fraction.

This was a natural response, one grounded in a complex blend of acceptance and residual pain—a starting point for what he hoped would be healing.

"But?" he prompted, sensing there was more Naruto needed to express.

"But I have a lot of people in Konoha that are precious to my heart, and I'll fight for them," Naruto continued, a firm resolve underpinning his words.

"Am I a bad Konoha ninja for that, sir?"

"Call me Inoichi, Naruto." Inoichi smiled gently, hoping to bridge the gap of formality between them.

"Let me tell you this, the true Will of Fire is very hard to follow, so the majority of us, myself included, fight for our loved ones. That is our Will of Fire and our ninja way. It doesn't make you good or bad; it just makes you human. A human who can only love those who have given you the respect, love, and dignity you deserve."

"Thanks, man," Naruto replied, visibly relieved, the tension easing from his shoulders as if a weight had been lifted.

"Naruto, can I say something?"

Naruto nodded, his eyes cautious but open.

"Don't join the ANBU."

The immediate shock on Naruto's face was telling, and for a moment, Inoichi wondered if he had stepped too far.

"Did I fail the loyalty test?" .

Inoichi blinked, momentarily taken aback by Naruto's insight.

The young ninja's understanding of the covert dynamics of the evaluation spoke to a keen intelligence that many underestimated.

Inoichi mentally chastised himself for underestimating Naruto, even if just for a moment.

Okay, this boy is brighter than he looks.

The quiet clink of ramen bowls and the gentle hum of the evening breeze through the open shop did little to ease the tension that had settled over their table.

"No, you passed the test," Inoichi reassured, trying to convey both authority and empathy. "It's my advice as someone older and much more experienced, the ANBU is dangerous."

Naruto's response was immediate and firm, "Doesn't matter, the rewards outweigh the danger."

"Is that your only reason? Reward?"

Naruto wiped his mouth with his hand, his gaze intense and unwavering.

"I am sure you know about the sabotage happening in the academy. So, what's to stop it from happening with a Genin team? What's to stop my Jonin sensei from just ignoring me and focusing on my teammates?"

"I assure you that won't happen," Inoichi replied, his voice steady yet tinged with a hint of desperation to convince.

"Based on what?"

"Based on some reasons I can't disclose, but I assure you on my honor that you will be treated fairly and equally in that team." Inoichi maintained eye contact,l.

Naruto shook his head, his decision seemingly already made.

"I don't know if I'll ever gain my place in the light of Konoha. I want to see if I can find my place in Konoha's darkness."

Inoichi sighed deeply, his heart sinking as he recognized the same resolute expression that Kushina often wore—an unyielding determination that once decided, was nearly impossible to sway.

Kushina, Minato, I know it's too late now, but I'd like to make up for my inaction with your son.

Maybe if we had been smarter, quicker, your son wouldn't look for a place in Konoha's darkness.

Inoichi reached for his notebook, flipping it open as he posed another question.

"I am curious, why did you ask my daughter out on a date?"

"Who?"

"Ino," Inoichi clarified, turning another page in his notebook, his eyes carefully watching Naruto's reaction for any telltale signs of his feelings towards his daughter.

Naruto's expression shifted from confusion to surprise as he processed Inoichi's question.

"Ino actually lost a bet to Sakura, and she had to ask me out. Since she was struggling with the whole thing, I thought I would help her out. I don't know why she was so embarrassed about it; if she didn't want to pay for her lunch, she should have said so."

Inoichi, listening intently, felt a mix of emotions whirl inside him—relief that his daughter was not emotionally entangled, mixed with amusement at Naruto's straightforward interpretation of the situation. However, Naruto's last comment piqued his curiosity, prompting him to probe a little deeper.

"Naruto, can you clarify your last sentence?" he asked, his eyes scanning over the notes he had taken in his notebook.

Naruto, seemingly oblivious to the deeper implications of dating, replied earnestly, "Isn't that what you do on a date? Two people go and buy a huge lunch and pay for it together."

Inoichi couldn't help but chuckle at Naruto's innocent assumption.

It was refreshing and somewhat endearing to see such a guileless perspective.

I guess, I misjudged Naruto, he is a good kid after all and I am sure this will help him.

In a gesture of goodwill and perhaps a bit of a gambit, Inoichi decided to entrust Naruto with something precious.

He tore out a page from his notebook and handed it to Naruto.

"Normally, a clan keeps its secret jutsus hidden away, but this time I am making an exception. This is the Yamanaka Clan's Mind Library Jutsu, learn it, and I hope that it helps you in the ANBU trial. I am a little busy, so I have to go; you can eat the rest of the ramen," he explained.

With those final words, Inoichi departed, leaving behind a swirl of leaves.

[ System Quest Notification ]

[ Quest: Loyalty Test ]

[ Status: Successfully Completed ]

[ Rewards Granted: ]

  - [ 1000 Experience Points ]

  - [ Seal of Loyalty ]

  - [ +100 Reputation with ANBU ]

  - [ +100 Reputation with Hiruzen Sarutobi ]

[ Hidden Reward: ]

  - [ Torn Page: Contains the Secret Ninja Art: Mind Library Jutsu. ]

....

[ Item: Torn Page ]

  - [ Description: A fragile piece of paper containing the Yamanaka Clan's Secret Jutsu: The Mind Library. Written by Inoichi Yamanaka, this jutsu enables the user to recall all learned information perfectly through meditation. Inoichi Yamanaka bestowed this technique upon Naruto Uzumaki, driven by a sense of guilt, to aid him in catching up with his ANBU training and compensating for the educational gaps left by the Ninja Academy. ]

....

[ System Quest Alert ]

[ Quest: Learn the Yamanaka Clan's Mind Library Jutsu ]

[ Objective:

  - Meditate for 1 hour.

  - Intelligence ( INT ) = 20.

  - Attempt to recall everything you did yesterday. ]

[ Reward:

  - Skill: Mind Library Jutsu. ]

[ Failure:

  - None. ]

[ Action Required:

  - Confirm acceptance or declination of quest. ]

Naruto scrolled through the notifications, a small smile playing across his face.

Ayame brought out a few more bowls of steaming ramen and set them down in front of him.

"What was that about?"

"Oh, Inoichi-san just wanted to talk since I asked his daughter out on a date," Naruto casually told a white lie.

Ayame froze mid-movement, her eyes widening.

Naruto continued to eat, seemingly unfazed by her reaction.

After a moment, he looked up and noticed her stillness.

"You okay?" Naruto asked, his voice tinged with concern as he waved his hand in front of Ayame.

"Hell has frozen over."

Naruto chuckled lightly, dismissing her dramatic reaction with an easy grin. "Whatever you say, Ayame-nee. Can you get me a few more bowls of ramen?"

_______________________________________

[ Ninja Academy ]

Iruka tapped on the pile of evidence spread out in front of him, each tap echoing his growing doubts.

Am I good enough for this?

The question nagged at him relentlessly. As a teacher, he was used to feeling confident, in control, but now, uncertainty gnawed at him.

He glanced up as the door to the classroom creaked open.

His heart skipped a beat when he saw Inoichi Yamanaka stepping inside. Confusion swirled through his mind.

Why would the head of the Yamanaka clan come to see me?

Iruka's recent suggestion to the Hokage—to break up the traditional Ino-Shika-Cho formation—flooded back to him.

This can't be good.

Iruka's palms began to sweat as Inoichi approached.

He couldn't hold back the panic.

"I'm sorry," he blurted out, bowing deeply, his words tumbling out in a rush.

Inoichi looked genuinely puzzled. "Sorry for what, Chunin Iruka?"

Iruka gathered his courage and confessed, "I suggested that the tradition of Ino-Shika-Cho be broken to the Hokage. So, what's my punishment for this heresy?" He wanted to face whatever consequences there might be quickly and move on to his investigation about the sabotage.

Iruka's heart raced.

"Heresy?" Inoichi laughed softly, breaking through Iruka's spiraling thoughts. "Iruka-san, I think you've been reading too many fictional novels lately."

Iruka's face heated up at the mention of novels.

If only he knew I read smut, not fantasy... he thought, mortified at the idea of the head of Konoha's Torture and Interrogation getting a glimpse into his personal reading habits.

"Well, anyway," Inoichi continued with a chuckle, "even if the formation is built upon centuries of brotherhood among the clans, it doesn't mean we'll go around punishing people for their opinions."

Relief washed over Iruka, his shoulders sagging as the tension drained from them. "What can I do for you, then?" he asked, finally finding his voice.

Inoichi pulled out a scroll and handed it to Iruka.

"Simple. I am your partner."

Iruka's jaw dropped.

The head of T&I, the Yamanaka Clan's head, and the man who helped Konoha win the Third Ninja War by extracting information from enemy shinobi... my partner?

Inoichi picked up the files from the table, nodding as he reviewed them.

"Impressive investigation skills. I think the Hokage just sent me as backup."

"Surely you jest," Iruka replied, his disbelief evident. Yet, amidst the shock, a spark of excitement ignited within him. Perhaps, with Inoichi by his side, this mission wasn't so daunting after all.

Inoichi's brow furrowed as he scanned the information laid out before him about Naruto being sabotaged before his Jinchuriki status was known.

The implications were disturbing: the saboteur had to be from within Konoha, and not just anyone—someone high up.

Orochimaru? Could be, but he's been gone from Konoha for years.

Any of the clan heads? Possibly.

Danzo?

Inoichi paused, then shook his head.

No, that old man has been banished, his power stripped.

Iruka watched as Inoichi examined a map of the Konoha academy covered in numerous marks.

"What's this?" Inoichi asked.

"Sir, this is a map of all the places where Mizuki would frequently hang out in his free time," Iruka explained, pulling out a list of teachers and the students they taught. "Interestingly, these 'hang out' spots were close to a particular group of teachers, and 'coincidentally,' these teachers taught all of the students that graduated this."

Inoichi's expression softened.

"If teaching ever becomes too boring, come find me. I would love to have you join Konoha's T&I," he said, a hint of respect in his tone.

Iruka rubbed the back of his neck, a modest smile tugging at his lips.

"I just wanted to help," he replied, his usual humility front and center.

"Well, Iruka, you helped a lot. I couldn't be happier that my daughter was taught by you," Inoichi complimented, setting the files down.

"Looks like you've already completed Plan A by yourself."

"Plan A?" Iruka echoed, confusion flickering across his face.

"Indeed, finding out a group of suspects. Now we go to Plan B," Inoichi said, cracking his knuckles with a grim determination that made Iruka's stomach tighten.

"And what's that?" Iruka asked, his voice barely above a whisper, dreading the answer.

"Extracting their memories to find out who our mysterious saboteur is."

.....

In the principal's office, everything was orderly and clean, reflecting a sense of strict discipline and formality.

The walls were lined with shelves stuffed with well-thumbed books and framed certificates, and a large window behind the desk offered a view of the academy's front yard.

The principal sat behind a massive oak desk, meticulously working through a stack of documents, the room silent except for the scratch of his pen.

Without warning, the door swung open, and Iruka stormed in, slamming three thick files onto the desk.

"I need all information on who checked these exams," he demanded, his tone urgent and brooking no refusal.

The principal looked up, his frown deepening, about to reprimand Iruka for his brash entrance. But before he could speak, he felt a sharp prick on his neck.

His eyes widened in shock, then rolled back as darkness enveloped him, his body slumping forward, unconscious.

Behind the now limp figure of the principal, the light shimmered unnaturally, like a disturbed surface of water, before Inoichi emerged, his form becoming visible as if stepping out from behind a curtain of light.

"Is that an advanced invisibility jutsu?" Iruka asked, his eyes wide with awe.

"No, it's just an advanced use of transformation jutsu," Inoichi explained as he began a series of hand signs. "Refraction and reflection of light to blend into the surroundings and become invisible."

"How can you see?" Iruka inquired, puzzled as to how Inoichi could navigate and operate effectively while invisible.

"Sensory abilities," Inoichi replied simply, placing his hand on the principal's head. "Saiko Denshin," he announced, invoking the Secret Ninja Art: Holding-Door Mind Transmission.

His hand glowed with chakra as he closed his eyes, connecting deeply with the unconscious man's mind.

A few tense minutes passed before Inoichi's expression turned grave.

"What's wrong?"

"All memories related to the sabotage have been wiped out," Inoichi revealed with a heavy sigh.

"How is that possible?" Iruka felt a chill crawl down his spine.

"Either the saboteur had a Yamanaka clan member and someone who should be on my level in the secret arts to do this, or they had a genjutsu specialist so skilled they could break down the neuropathways of the brain that held those memories," Inoichi theorized, his mind racing as he considered the limited number of individuals capable of such a feat within Konoha— Hiruzen and Dragon.

"What now?"

"If the principal has had his memories destroyed, then it's safe to assume the rest of the teachers have also had their memories destroyed. Guess, we have to find another lead," Inoichi supposed, his tone resigned.

"I think we can still manage with this lead," Iruka said suddenly, snapping his fingers as an idea came to him.

"A few weeks back, a teacher by the name of Fujino Omori stopped coming to school and she was actively involved with Mizuki to the point there was a rumor that the two were seeing each other."

Inoichi's eyes narrowed as he considered this new information.

"So, either we get to the end of this lead or we find another one."

....

[ Author's Note:

Before I begin this giant note that you all like for some reason, I want to apologize for not uploading yesterday; I was a little busy in real life.

Anyways, you all know the drill, let's do this.

....

1- The first portion of the chapter was foreshadowed in chapter 37, so it was bound to happen, but the psychological evaluation gave me quite the opportunity to look into Naruto's character. How do you guys think I did, especially with the reason for why Naruto agreed to join the ANBU? One was the rewards that the system offered, and the other was Naruto's mistrust of Konoha, with how many secrets that were kept from him; obviously, he would be skeptical that if he joined a team, he would be taught fairly.

Other than that, how do you guys think I did with Inoichi's characterization, his lore with Kushina, and him giving Naruto a Yamanaka Clan's secret technique so Naruto could relearn everything from the academy in about 3 to 4 days and then focus on the ANBU skills?

.....

2- Surprise, Iruka's investigation partner is Inoichi. I got many suggestions for it to be Kakashi, which was a great suggestion, but Kakashi's role is going to be different than being Iruka's partner.

Guess what Kakashi's role is going to be?

.....

3- How do you guys like the more psychological inner monologue that was throughout the first portion of the story? Was it good? Was it bad?

....

Thank you for enjoying my work, and thank you for your support. I hope you guys have a blessed rest of the day, and please give me your thoughts in the comments.]